Dr David Williamson

Reef Authority

Assistant Director – Crown-of-thorns Starfish Control Program Marine Park Operations
Collaborative research and management drives innovation in COTS control on the Great Barrier Reef


David is a marine scientist with expertise in coral reef ecology, fisheries, marine conservation research and management. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from James Cook University (JCU) in 1996 and spent the next decade working on government, academic and industry research projects in Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific. He later returned to JCU to continue his research into the conservation and fishery effects of marine park zoning management. After attaining his PhD in 2009, David continued his academic career as a post-doctoral fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. He is currently Acting Director of Reef Interventions at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, where he oversees the Crown-of-thorns Starfish Control Program and assists with planning and coordination of reef rehabilitation actions. He has authored over 80 scientific papers and presented at numerous Australian and international conferences.